Eight Canadians, including Man-in-Motion Rick Hansen, have been named volunteer honorary mayors of the athletes’ villages in Whistler and Vancouver during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
The honorary mayors – two per village per Games – will officially open the villages in February and March. The villages will house more than 6,500 athletes and team officials, as well as be the workplace for an estimated 5,500 workforce members.
“Each of the men and women named today as village mayors for the 2010 Winter Games will add an inspirational presence in these homes away from home for the athletes and officials who will start competing here in less than 70 days. They were selected based on their background in sport, their dedication to community and their unwavering support for the 2010 Winter Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Movements,” explained John Furlong, Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
“It’s a great honour to be chosen to represent Canada as a village mayor at the 2010 Winter Games,” said Rick Hansen. “As a competitor at past Games, I know how important it is for the athletes and officials – our guests – to have a welcoming place to stay while competing. It’s our role as village mayors to make sure the thousands of athletes who will be here will indeed feel this is a real home away from home for them where they can be inspired to reach their dreams in 2010.”
Meet the Olympic Mayors
Rick Hansen: as Canada’s Man in Motion, this Richmond, BC, resident raised $26 million while completing an around-the-world journey to highlight the potential of people with disabilities, participated at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games in the wheelchair exhibition, won six Paralympic medals between 1980 and 1984 and shared the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s outstanding athlete of the year.
Tricia Smith: An Olympic silver medallist and seven-time world championship medal winner in rowing, the resident of Vancouver, BC, is also vice president of the Canadian Olympic Committee and a lawyer for the Court of in Sport. She was Canada’s chef de mission at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil.
Anna Fraser Sproule: A former freestyle aerial skier, she competed at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games and was the 1986 World Cup title winner. A broadcast colour commentator for freestyle skiing, which included covering three Olympic Winter Games, she now resides in Whistler, BC, and was a board member of the Vancouver 2010 bid corporation.
Alan Kristmanson: A member of the Canadian national men’s basketball team from 1987 to 1992, the resident of Whistler, BC, competed at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games where Canada placed sixth. He is currently golf director at the Whistler Golf Club.
Dr. Douglas Clement: An internationally recognized sports medicine clinician and researcher, the Vancouver, BC, resident is professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia where he has taught and practiced sports medicine for over 20 years. He is also a member of the Order of Canada and will share mayoral duties with his wife, Diane.
Diane Clement: In 1956, Clement competed for Canada as a sprinter at the Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia and won a bronze medal two years later at the Commonwealth Games. She is a bestselling cookbook author and was a board member of the Vancouver 2010 bid corporation.
Marni Abbott-Peter: A four-time Paralympian, the British Columbian, who currently resides in Germany, won three gold and one silver, as well as three world championships in wheelchair basketball. She also acted as Team Canada’s flag-bearer at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games and is a certified coach now in her sport.
Patrick Anderson: A three-time Paralympian, also in wheelchair basketball, the resident of Vancouver won silver in Beijing in 2008, as well as gold at the 2004 Games in Athens, 2000 Games in Sydney and the 2006 world championships. The jazz musician is also a national team athlete representative for the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.